A Pinch of Iodized Salt for Ukrainian Loaves
On 8 June 2011, at the 16th International Specialized Exhibition
|Marina Kostyuchenko, State Research Institute of Bakery Industry, Moscow|
“Bread/Confectioner Expo 2011” in Kiev, Ukraine, UNICEF and GAIN partnered with “Association Ukrkhlibprom,” the Ukrainian Bread Association, to organize a special session on the use of iodized salt in bread baking.
The GAIN-UNICEF Partnership was invited to host the session by the chairman of the Bread Association, after he learned about the possibility to use iodized salt in bread production at the Forum organized by UNICEF and GAIN in Belgrade in March, 2011.
About 90 participants attended the special session, including bread producers, technicians, suppliers, food technology students, journalists, and other industry representatives from Ukraine and neighboring countries.
Good for People and Good for Business
Experts sponsored by GAIN and UNICEF presented on the technical aspects of using iodized salt in bread baking and reported on the experience of Belarus, a country
which has been successful in ensuring adequate iodine nutrition through mandatory use of iodized salt in baking and food processing.
These presentations were aimed to dispel negative myths about iodized salt among bakers and show evidence that iodized salt does not influence the taste, smell, or other properties of bread; is a stable ingredient, and is affordable and accessible to all producers.
Questions surrounding standards were also settled by a member of the Ukrainian Standards Committee, who provided evidence that there are no obstacles in the current standards which would prevent bakers from replacing non-iodized salt with iodized salt in any bread recipe.
Other notable presentations were from an equipment supplier and an iodized salt packager who both emphasized the corporate social responsibility of bread producers and the value-added marketing benefits of selling a product which contains this essential micronutrient.
This special session served to dispel myths, share evidence, and foster dialogue about iodized salt use in order to create an enabling environment for bread producers to use iodized salt. Although several remaining concerns were raised at the end of the meeting about safeguarding consumer choice and whether or not iodized salt should be used in all bread, the meeting marked a strong step forward in terms of increasing industry awareness and recognition of the key role bread producers can play in contributing to the increase of iodine intake among the population of Ukraine.